It may look like a construction site now, but come this Saturday, December 9, the finishing touches to the Carrington Street upgrade will be completed for a grand opening celebration that includes live music, poetry, markets, dancing, magic shows and much more.
The Carrington Street Carnivale is a big street party giving people the chance to check out the $1.3 million beautification, which includes new garden areas and rainforest trees, Celtic pavement motifs, and public areas for shoppers to sit, chat and eat. Extra beautification features such as night lighting, water features and a colourful sail at the entrance to the Star Court Theatre will be completed in January.
Urban designer John Dayman of Aspect North came up with the design after extensive community consultation and says the vision was to create people-friendly spaces and transform the street from a dead-end alley into a buzzing town centre.
Amber Hall, the manager of Lismore Unlimited Opportunities who first floated the idea of revitalising Lismores laneways in 2002, says she loves the new look and believes this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential the laneways represent. She envisages a bustling precinct with additional eateries and restaurants offering outdoor dining, artists studios dotted throughout the lanes and artworks covering the bland brick walls, and roving performers to keep people entertained.
I think were well on the way to achieving our goal of making Carrington Street a thriving business hub as well as an attractive place that people can enjoy, said Amber. Theres lots more wed like to do in the future, but this is a fantastic first step. And there seems to be plenty of interest in the community, with people already walking down the street to see whats evolving.
One person breathing a sigh of relief is Caddies Coffee Shop owner Vicki Sheaffe, who has been eagerly awaiting the re-opening since work began in September.
Were excited about the new streetscape and are hoping it will bring more life and therefore more customers this way, said Vicki. Some customers have said they dont like to come to Carrington Street at night because its too dark, but the new lights will make it much more people-friendly and bring some brightness and vibrancy to the street. Wed love to see regular buskers and entertainment and in the future possibly even a small stage, like they have in Brisbanes Queen Street Mall. Then we could have live music and fashion parades, and a host of other activities that would give people another reason to visit the CBD.
The Carrington Street Carnivale kicks off with a Poets Breakfast at Caddies from 8.30am, where you can listen to some of the regions finest wordsmiths while enjoying a bite to eat.
From 9am to 2pm the festivities continue with an organic market, face painting and story telling, a treasure hunt and interactive puppet show, salsa and rock n roll dancing demonstrations, a hip hop performance, mosaic design displays, lantern painting, a magic show, fashion parade and Israeli circle dancing. Therell also be live performances from world music band Stipsky, 15-year-old singing sensation Ariel Cameron, The Red Inc choir, and Ballina Idol finalist Paige Ridgeway.
Adding to the colour of the day is an artists installation by Armisteads Gallery and wandering street performers including stilt walkers, the crew from Kahootz, and Atmo the Mime.
For more info on the Carrington Street Carnivale and a full program see the ad on page 9 or visit www.luo.com.au.
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